Scotland succumbed to a 2-0 defeat on their return to major tournament football on what should have been a glorious summer's afternoon at Hampden Park.
In a game filled with chances for both sides, the hosts will feel aggrieved to have come out with what would seem a comfortable defeat, but the actual game would tell a different story.
Endless chances for the Scots, particularly falling by way of Lyndon Dykes, John McGinn, Andy Robertson and Stuart Armstrong, were not converted, and the Czechs would score both of their goals out of nothing - Patrik Schick at the double to put the Scottish to the sword.
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The first, a glancing header, stealing a march on Grant Hanley and Liam Cooper upon a second ball after a corner, and the second an outrageous curler off the left boot from just inside the attacking half, looping the ball up and over the desperately-retreating David Marshall to double the visitors' lead, however undeservedly.
It was a dogged Scotland display; McTominay and McGinn worked their socks off with the Tartan Army singing their praises, trying to suck the ball into the back of the Czech net, but their European campaign starts with what could be a devastating defeat.

Patrick Schick's goal against Scotland

Image credit: Getty Images


Whilst we all will argue that the home side were unfortunate in the way that they lost the game, they can't complain about the number of chances they had.
Lyndon Dykes, although never usually the most prolific finisher, had two in particular that were well saved by Tomas Vaclik, and Andy Robertson's effort midway through the first half could have, and maybe should have, found its way inside the far rather than the near post.
John McGinn had a few shots that were blocked by Czech defenders throwing their bodies on the line, and Jack Hendry just needed a tad more luck with a curler that clipped the crossbar.
Otherwise, it was a masterclass in poacher-like finishing from Schick, who scored with his only real big chance, and conjured up a piece of genius to put the game beyond all doubt.

Scotland v Czech Republic

Image credit: Imago


It seems biased and odd to name the most recognisable name and the captain of Scotland as the man of the match, rather than the two goal hero, but the Liverpool left wing-back never stopped running in a complete performance for the skipper, that only lacked the result.
His crossing was, as usual, the main weapon in Scotland's attacking arsenal, and it was his offensive directness and defensive determination that spurred the Scots to put in a performance much more deserving than the scoreline they received.
Schick will get the plaudits, and rightly so for two brilliant goals, but Robertson's importance to this Scotland side is gigantic.


Scotland: Marshall 6, Hanley 6, Cooper 6, Hendry 6, O'Donnell 5, Armstrong 6, McTominay 7, McGinn 7, Robertson 8, Christie 6, Dykes 6, Adams 7, McGregor 6, Fraser 6, Forrest 6, Nisbet 6.
Czech Republic: Vaclik 7, Coufal 6, Celustka 6, Kalas 6, Boril 6, Soucek 6, Kral 6, Jankto 7, Darida 6, Masopust 6, Schick 8, Holes 6, Hlozek 6, Vydra 6, Sevcik 6, Kremencik 6.


16': CLOSE! Schick forces the save from Marshall! McGinn won the ball but went down unfouled, and Jankto found Schick who tested the Scotland keeper.
32': What a chance for Scotland! Lovely move from Christie, as Dykes decoys the run, and Robertson forces the save from Vaclik... corner!
42': GOAL! Cleared by Hanley, but in from the second ball... and Patrik Schick steals in and glances it beyond Marshall! A real blow for the Scots.
46': BAR! Jankto's corner is cleared... McGinn breaks... Adams... O'Donnell's cross is cleared well. Here's another wave of pressure... Armstrong... Robertson's cross... it falls for Hendry! Off the bar!
49': Almost a calamity at the back for the Czechs! A hopeful ball from Robertson is almost floated over his own keeper from Kalas, but Vaclik paws it away from Dykes!
52': GOAL!! Robertson's throw...Hendry's shot is charged down by Jankto... and Schick... WOW! He's caught Marshall off his line from just inside the Scotland half, and it flies in and doubles the visitors' lead. 2-0.


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